Here's How Home Automation has Brought the Age of Science Fiction to us
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Although in the western countries, home automation has been around for much longer, in India, home automation is about four decades old. In the initial phases the segment witnessed slow growth due to limited product availability, high cost of products, the hassles of additional wiring….to name a few.
Once perceived to be science fiction, home automation is a reality today and it has surely come a long way since it first bobbed its head. Talking about automation, what immediately comes to mind is the thermostat in the refrigerator. No manual intervention was required to control / regulate the temperature in the refrigerator. From the humble thermostat, the next wave of home automation came in the form of home security devices like door cameras, video doorbell, sensor cams and the likes.
Securing the hard earned home from thefts and intruders was the main reason for the birth of these automation products. Secondly, security of elders at home from unwanted guests and disturbances was another reason for the advent of such home automation products. Security devices still constitute a major portion of the home automation market in India accounting for approximately 45%.
While many products were introduced in the security segment, technological advancements innovation. Together with this, rising disposable incomes ushered in the “discerning” class of consumers, for whom home is a reflection of their personality and class. Technology innovators seized this opportunity and with that came automation of electrical appliances – lights, fans, etc, Motion sensor-enabled lights detected the movement of the home owners and switched on / off the lights and fans.
Smartphones came as a boon to the home automation segment and putting the controls of the home in their hands. In the age of everything smart – smartphones, smart TVs, smart watches…….it is only logical that home automation also became SMART. Control of lights and fans came into the hands of the consumer via the home automation application on their smartphones. Homeowners can now switch on their lights and fans prior to entering their homes.
Growth and Penetration of Internet and Internet of Things
High speed internet and wi-fi have accelerated the growth of the home automation segment bringing with it wireless products and solutions wherein connected devices communicate with each other over Internet / Wi-Fi. Today beyond just security and lights and fans, other electrical appliances too – microwave, refrigerator, smart TV –are able to communicate over the Internet thereby making the entire home SMART.
Voice Enabled Technology
Smart speakers have further augmented the rising popularity of home automation. Just speak to the speaker for whichever light you want to be switched on or switched off, and lo! and bingo ! – the result appears to be a science fiction.
Beyond Just Home
Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Big Data – are all new and emerging technologies which are here to stay and have a significant role to play in home automation. “Conservation” and “Efficiency” is the mantra today. Smart Water Meters, Smart Energy Meters have been finding takers among conservationists who are harnessing the power of technology to not only make their homes SMART, but do their bit to the environment and conserve precious and fast depleting resources.
India has only touched the tip of the iceberg in home automation. What technology can do is anybody's imagination. It is safe to say that Smart homes are all about living greener and providing better security. Smart home technologies make a home sustainable and allow consumers to reduce energy consumption. The demand for this technology will see it going north in the coming years when one weighs the advantages of Smart Home Automation.